Germany is moving closer to supporting a move by the European Union (EU) to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, according to news sources. If true, this is a welcome development. German support for listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization would help rectify the glaring and inexcusable omission by other European countries that fail to name Hezbollah for what it is.
In March, a spokesman for Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich stated that the minister supports listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the EU. However, Friedrich’s comments contained the caveat that such a move would be dependent on compelling evidence of Hezbollah’s guilt in a July 2012 bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, which killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver.
But there is already plenty of evidence.
In February, Bulgarian authorities announced the findings of a six-month-long investigation into the terror attack that found “obvious links” between the bombing and Hezbollah. In April, the European Police Office (EUROPOL) issued a statement that could be viewed as an endorsement of the Bulgarian findings, saying “indications suggest possible links” between the Burgas bombings and Hezbollah. What further compelling evidence Friedrich believes necessary is not clear.
What is certain is that due to the need for consensus, the EU is unlikely to act quickly on listing Hezbollah as a terrorist group. Sovereign nations such as Germany have the legal ability and moral responsibility to act on their own as the EU continues to drag its feet on the issue of Hezbollah. As research by The Heritage Foundation recently pointed out:
European countries can pull their heads out of the sand and designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization without waiting for the EU to do so. This would enable a long-overdue crackdown on the group’s fundraising, recruitment, and operational networks that would make the world safer for Europeans and Americans while helping to stabilize the volatile Middle East.
Germany would be a good place to start. While Hezbollah is active throughout Europe, Germany is home to the most active members.
Hezbollah is clearly and unabashedly a terrorist organization. Its military wing continues to carry out terror attacks across the globe, including on European soil, which endanger innocent civilians. Their political wing continues to raise money and seek sympathetic followers. It’s high time for Europe and the individual countries within Europe to act.